Andy Hellaby





Andy Hellaby: bass guitar

Andy Hellaby Comus

Sometime around 1970 I moved into a shared house where Roger and Glenn both lived. They were always playing guitar together and I found it quite magical. I was playing bass-guitar with a local band (can’t remember the name) and Roger and Glenn came to see us at Bowie’s arts lab in Beckenham. Afterwards they asked if I wanted to join their band and I had a long think about it – about one second – before I said yes!! 

Since the second (less progressive or impressive!) incarnation of Comus split in the mid-seventies I have dabbled in composing and producing electronic music and sound effects, a natural progression from the short “musique concrete” pieces on the second album. I composed soundtracks for films, theatre and commercials, and was involved with several successful productions at the Royal Court and ICA theatres in London.  I collaborated with Roger Woottoncomposing and recording the score for a feature film – Spy Storyfrom the book by Len Deighton, and it was another ex-Comus member, Lindsay Cooper, who first got me involved with theatre, arranging and playing music for The Tokyo Kid Brothers, a highly radical for their time theatre group who had never been outside of Japan before. I went on to work with playwrights such as Caryl Churchill andColin Bennet who were very much involved with the fringe at the time, before somehow drifting off into the murky world of commercials. I also composed and produced the soundtrack for an award winning natural history film called Fungi, a direct result of producing music and fx for a play by yet another Comusoid, Glenn Goringwho introduced me to some local film people who had come to see his play. 

After a few years getting caught up in the world of advertising I realised that doing jingles and radio ads was as about as creative as shovelling shit and gave up music totally for a while. 
I had a gig for a few years as a photographic assistant and still take a keen interest in photography, and I still have my ancient analogue synthesiser and have experimented a bit with computer sequencers. But I am more interested in playing the saxophone these days, which I took up a few years ago for fun but soon found myself doing pub, restaurant and private party gigs playing popular standards for the punters – could not be more different from Comus!!!

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